“David's work in applying Systems Thinking with our grantees has enabled them to collaborate more effectively and target changes where we can have the greatest impact collectively."

- David Nee, Executive Director, W.C. Graustein Memorial Fund

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Learn more about a systems approach to ending homelessness.

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Facilitating Social Change

To effect sustainable social change, you must be able to collaborate with diverse stakeholders. Bridgeway Partners helps build bridges across nonprofit, government, and business organizations to reframe and resolve complex, chronic social problems.

We have worked with leaders at the national, state, county, and city levels to:

  • House buildingEnd homelessness
  • Improve public health and the quality of
    people’s food and fitness
  • Develop a comprehensive early care and education delivery system
  • Increase the return on rural development investments
  • Analyze the root causes of deeply seated conflicts
  • Design a sustainable development initiative in a developing country
  • Facilitate re-entry of recently released prisoners back into their communities

Facilitating social change entails more than acting systemically, i.e., bringing different constituents together to talk about an issue.

Individual’s immediate self-interests frequently limit their capacity to work together for the common good.

We help you think systemically

I.e., understand how the often non-obvious interdependencies among stakeholders undermine your collective ability to solve complex social problems despite your best efforts. In particular, thinking systemically enables each party to recognize how they may unwittingly perpetuate the very problems they are trying to solve. Based on this understanding, we help you renew your commitment to a common purpose and identify leverage points to achieve it.

Case Study

Bridgeway Partners helped the diverse and often conflicted members of community homeless coalition develop and align a ten-year plan to end homelessness in a region of 100,000 people. We first partnered with a broad group of stakeholders – including leaders in the social, public, and private sectors as well as homeless people themselves – to identify the system dynamics underlying chronic homelessness in the area. We then worked with them to target interventions that would solve the problem permanently, and used this information to help the community align its efforts around a few high leverage goals and strategies. The coalition’s plan was approved by the state government and received funding for implementation.

"I learned so much. You expanded the view of service providers so that they are now committed to helping the consumer overall instead of just 'doing their own thing' as individual organizations. The goals of our new plan to end homelessness derive directly from your analysis".

- Jennifer Schrand Bentley
Chair, Calhoun County Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness
Manager of Outreach and Development, Legal Services of South Central Michigan